The Masses isn’t exactly the new kid on the block at Beach Road. But with a menu change almost every four months, you’ll want to keep yourself updated on what Chef Dylan has up his sleeves.
The dining space isn’t vast but it’s relevant and hip with its neon signs and a decorative mish-mash of cult memorabilia.
I learnt that Chef Dylan has a restless streak in him that propels him to constantly innovate his dishes and bring something new to the table. It keeps newcomers curious and regular patrons on their toes.
Elevating the familiar kueh pie tee, he has added braised jicama and homemade XO sauce with sakura ebi to his Crabmeat Kueh Pie Tee (S$9). The crab meat was sweet and complemented by the undeniable crunch of the pie tee.
It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was sufficient to get my hopes up for the dishes to come.
This one really knocked my socks off! The Burrata (S$16.90) may seem like a modest portion for its price point, but you have to keep in mind that the tomatoes are Japanese amela fruit tomatoes, which were exceptionally sweet, juicy and extremely delicious.
I hate raw tomatoes, so my apprehension when someone tells me that a ‘tomato is sweet’ is very real. I was told the exact same thing here, and they were telling the God-honest truth. When eaten with the accompanying sourdough, it’s a starter that will have you wishing all vegetables tasted this amazing.
The C&C&C&C + Sea Urchin Pasta (S$10.90 as starter, S$15.90 as main, +S$6 for sea urchin) is an upgrade from their C&C Pasta, which originally only had caviar and crab meat. This decadent dish has now levelled up to include clams and chorizo, with the option of adding on sea urchin for those want to simply be extra.
What I really enjoyed about this was the lobster sauce, which was very close to bisque. The rich and savoury notes of both lobster and sea urchin, as well as caviar, really gave this pasta dish a bold flavour profile, overall.
But its strength also proved to be its shortcoming; too many potent-tasting elements coming together resulted in each one cancelling the other out. I could barely detect each ingredient until I was informed of the ingredients.
When a vegetable dish is done well, it can turn out to be a dish that outshines the meat dishes. One such dish was the Purple Cabbage (S$14.90). Who would think to marry ikura, crab meat, a dashi beurre blanc and prawn head butter with a head of purple cabbage?
The cabbage retained crispness, while the creaminess of the dashi beurre blanc, together with the ikura, blanketed its leaves in an umami bath. The best part was the ingenious use of prawn head’s essence infused into butter; till today, I still wish I could’ve convinced Chef Dylan to allow me to bring home a portion.
It seems like a few of the new dishes are the real underdogs on the menu. The Golden Pomfret (S$19.90) was a delicate portion of pomfret topped with cauliflower purée and ravigote (a light and acidic sauce) and prawn head hollandaise.
The daintiness of this dish is where its beauty lies, and I can assure you, even if you’re not a fan of fish, there will be something about this dish that will reel you in for more. Once again, the use of prawn head truly impressed me, as it added an oomph of fattiness that balanced out this fine fish really nicely.
Beef tomahawk is what most menus feature, but here, they serve a Nagano Pork Tomahawk 250g (S$24.90) that’s crusted in Jacob cracker and sweet & sour sauce. What made the sweet & sour sauce even better was the peppering of curry leaves, which added a hint of heat.
I wish I’d remembered to take a cross-section shot of this aptly fatty piece of pork, but it was so good, I just enjoyed it contently.
Dessert here is a must, especially with their Deep Fried Camembert (S$9.90). Luscious, molten camembert comes coated in breadcrumbs and was surrounded by gula melaka crumble, ricotta crumble and a scoop of yoghurt ice cream.
For a camembert fan like myself, it was hard not to be unbiased in my opinion; I found it absolutely divine. And the side of yoghurt ice cream lent a tartness that aided in easing the richness of the cheese.
Not to mention the gula melaka crumble, which was a sinful sugary addition that I had to of course polish off.
I’d been to The Masses before with my friends before this work-related visit, and even then, I was already impressed with Chef Dylan’s dishes. Now that I’ve had the luck of returning, it seems there is no slowing down for him as he constantly finds new ways to work in familiar ingredients (read: prawn head butter!).
I want to return to The Masses again just so that I can relish in the other new additions to this ‘Menu 7.0’ that he has so brilliantly created. But for that, I’ll wait to gather more food-minded people so that we can order more, and I, in turn, can savour more.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$40 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
85 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189694
85 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189694